When my mom bought a bread machine, in 2000 something, we were curious about one of the recipes in the booklet that came with it: chocolate bread. We made it, but it was only ok, so we never repeated it. Last month, when I found this recipe by David Lebovitz, I decided it was time to give the idea of chocolate bread a second chance.
Don’t fool yourself: this is not a cake. It’s not a fluffy bread with a hint of chocolate, either. This dense bread has a deep chocolate flavor, and it is wonderful when toasted, with a little bit of butter! It’s perfect for a special breakfast, say… a birthday breakfast! 😀
55 g (4 Tbsp) butter
85 g dark chocolate – I used a 71% one
¾ cup whole milk, lukewarm
2 ¼ tsp instant dry yeast
75 g (6 Tbsp) sugar
1 ½ tsp instant coffee – optional, but highly recommended
½ tsp vanilla extract
½ tsp salt
280 g (2 cups) all-purpose flour
¼ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
90 g (3/4 cup) dark chocolate chips, or dark chocolate, chopped – I used chocolate chips, 50%
70 g (½ cup) walnuts, almonds, or hazelnuts, chopped – also optional, also highly recommended! I used walnuts.
Start by melting the dark chocolate with the butter in a double boiler, or on very low heat. When it melts, remove from the heat and let it cool down.
In a big bowl, place the lukewarm milk, yeast, and one Tbsp of the sugar. Mix and set aside for 10 to 15 minutes. When the mixture has bubbled, with a layer that looks like beer foam, it’s time to add the rest of the sugar, instant coffee (if you’re using it), egg, vanilla, and salt.
As the cocoa powder tends to clump, sift half of it and half of the flour directly in the bowl. Mix with a silicone spatula. Add the melted chocolate, mix a little bit more, and sift the remainder cocoa powder and flour. Mix until it’s all incorporated.
If you have a stand mixer, use the hook attachment and knead for five minutes – the dough won’t stick to the side of the bowl for long, but keep kneading anyway! You can also knead by hand (the original recipe called for mixing vigorously with a spatula for five minutes), but resist the temptation to add more flour. The dough is a little wetter than that of normal bread!
Cover the bowl and let the dough rise for two hours in a warm place. After this, add the chocolate chips and the nuts. Place the dough in a buttered 9-inch loaf pan.
Cover the pan and let the dough rise for one hour. Bake in a pre-heated oven for approximately 40 minutes. The bread will be ready when the house smells of chocolate and you hear a hollow sound when you tap it.
Now comes the hard part: let the bread cool completely before slicing it!
Things were a bit quiet around here, weren’t they? There’s a pretty good explanation, though: we moved! Between looking for a new apartment, signing a contract, trying to get everything ready, giving up and calling Mom and Dad to help us move, and, of course, working, it was pretty hard to post here! But now that that is over, it’s time to face the folder “Photographed – Need to write the recipe”! To start, I decided to write this recipe, which I made in Brasília and was totally worth it! 🙂
As soon as I got Rita Lobo’s book, I rushed to select the recipes I wouldn’t be able to cook in Uruguay: the cod and black-eyed peas salad, plantain gnocchi (which I ended up not cooking), and these wonderful muffins.
Grating the manioc was extremely boring. The worst of it was that, when I was almost finished, mom told me we could buy grated manioc at the supermarket!! >.< Other than that, the recipe is pretty straightforward. I’m calling them muffins because of their shape – the texture is not quite that, as this is (almost) a flour-free recipe.
When it came out of the oven, we thought “oh, let’s just share one, to taste, we’ve eaten a lot today already.” After the first bite, I had to HIDE two of them for the pictures, because everyone wanted their own! It was THAT tasty! 🙂
For 12 muffins, you’ll need:
1 ½ cup of skinned manioc, grated – please, buy the grated kind! 😀
¾ cup sugar
¼ cup oil
1 cup of meia-cura cheese, shredded – as this is impossible to find outside of Brazil, good substitutions would be mild cheddar, Colby, or Monterey Jack.
1 cup unsweetened dry coconuts
Butter and cornstarch to coat the muffin tin and say you made a gluten-free recipe, therefore it must be healthy, therefore you can eat it all at once no problem 😛
Start by placing the shredded manioc in a bowl and covering it with ½ cup water. While the manioc rests, butter your muffin tin and then dust with cornstarch – it will make a little bit of a mess on your counter, ok? Don’t worry.
In a big bowl, whisk the eggs, the sugar, and the oil, until they become a smooth creamy mixture.
Press the manioc on a sieve to drain the water. To the egg mix, add the coconut, the manioc, and the cheese. Place the dough in the muffin tin – do not overfill and do not press the dough down.
Bake in a pre-heated oven for 30 minutes, or until they are golden brown – it was very weird to cook a recipe where you can’t use a toothpick to test if it’s ready!
Let them cool before removing from the tin. Control yourself and don’t eat them all at once!
Have you checked out the new blog sections? 😉
To continue our Muffin Tertulias, it was time to try a special recipe I had found (by chance) on Pinterest! Theoriginal recipe said that this muffin was just like Starbucks’, but I disagree. Starbucks’ muffins are always too dry! 😀
These were an absolute hit – they disappeared as soon as they came out of the oven, and I had to “hide” these two for the picture!
For 12 muffins, you’ll need:
250 mL milk
10 g instant yeast
250 g all-purpose flour
1 Tbsp sugar
1 tsp salt
Black pepper and oregano
200 g parmesan, coarsely grated – save a bit for decorating the top of the muffins
100 g melted butter
As this recipe calls for instant yeast, the process is a bit different than normal muffins. But it’s still quick! 🙂
Mix the yeast with the (warm) milk and let it foam. In a bowl, mix the flour with the salt, black pepper, and oregano.
Meanwhile, melt the butter and let it cool down a bit. When the butter has been cooled down, mix in the egg and the milk with yeast. Add the flour mix and most of the grated cheese. As always, the idea is to mix with a rubber spatula just until you can’t see any more flour – don’t knead! 🙂
Divide the dough into the cups, always filling only up to 3/4 of the capacity, and cover with the reserved grated cheese.
Now the process is different: as this is a yeasted dough, let it rest for 1 hour – it didn’t reeeeally rise much during that period, but I didn’t worry about it.
Bake in a pre-heated oven for 30 minutes, or until it turns golden and passes the toothpick test.
Cool it down a little bit and eat!
In the unlikely event of leftovers, just place them in a ziploc bag and freeze!
To end our Muffin Tertulias, nothing better than a VERY CHOCOLATY chocolate muffin – there’s cocoa and chocolate in the recipe! In addition, as the recipe calls for yoghurt, these are very soft. In fact, they were tastier on the second day!
The only part that takes a little bit of work is chopping the chocolate! I use normal chocolate, because I can’t find decent chocolate chips (only those with hydrogenated fat, ewwww). If you find decent chocolate chips, your muffins will be even prettier!
This recipe yields A LOT: I got 12 normal muffins and 15 mini-muffins! I think it would yield 16-18 normal-sized muffins .
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup sugar
3/4 cups dark chocolate chips – I’ll add more next time!
1/2 cup cocoa powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup whole-fat unsweetened yoghurt
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/4 cup white chocolate chips, for decorating
This is the easiest of all the recipes in this series – we don’t even need to melt the butter! 🙂
In the first bowl (the smallest), mix the dry ingredients. In the second bowl (a bigger one that can fit all the ingredients), mix the wet ingredients. Combine the dry and wet mixtures with a rubber spatula. As always, don’t mix too much – muffin batter really is a little lumpier than cake batter, so just mix until you can’t see flour specks anymore!
Fill the muffin cups, always to only 3/4 full. Sprinkle a few white chocolate chips on the top and bake for 20 minutes, or until they pass the toothpick test! 🙂
Let them cool down on a rack and CHOW DOWN!
As I had already made donut muffins, I decided to skip the topping this time. No regrets! 🙂 If you’re like my dad, who doesn’t care for raw blueberries, you should know that they are much tastier once baked!
For 12 muffins, you’ll need
255 g flour
100 g sugar
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
3/4 cup buttermilk – I can’t buy buttermilk at the store, so I make my own, by putting 1 Tbsp lemon juice (vinegar would work too) in the measuring cup, filling it to the 3/4 mark with whole milk, and letting it sit for 10-15 minutes.
90 g butter, melted
Zest of 1 lemon – do not omit, it makes all the difference!
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/2 cup blueberries – mine were frozen, and they went from the freezer straight to the batter!
Start by preparing the buttermilk and melting the butter – if you want to be savvy, melt the butter in a pan that is big enough to mix the batter! 😀
Mix the dry ingredients in a bowl using a whisk to make sure everything is nicely mixed and lump-free.
When the melted butter cools down a bit, mix in the eggs, the vanilla extract, and the buttermilk. Add the dry mix and mix A LITTLE with a rubber spatula – don’t mix the batter too much, or the muffins will harden: when you can’t see specks of flour, you’re done!
Add the blueberries to the batter and pour into the muffin cups – remember to fill only to 3/4 of the capacity, so they won’t overflow in the oven!
Bake for 25 minutes, or until they are golden/toothpick comes out clean… you know the deal. Let them cool on a wire rack – if you try to eat them while they’re hot, the dough sticks to the paper liner; it’s a nightmare. #truestory #learnedbydoing
To freeze: just place the cooled muffins in a ziploc bag! 🙂 They should last up to three months in the freezer, but only if you forget they are there, otherwise they get eaten WELL BEFORE that! 😀